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RFC 6754 - Protocol Independent Multicast Equal-Cost Multipath (


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Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                            Y. Cai
Request for Comments: 6754                                     Microsoft
Category: Standards Track                                         L. Wei
ISSN: 2070-1721                                                    H. Ou
                                                     Cisco Systems, Inc.
                                                                 V. Arya
                                                             S. Jethwani
                                                            DIRECTV Inc.
                                                            October 2012

  Protocol Independent Multicast Equal-Cost Multipath (ECMP) Redirect

Abstract

   A Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) router uses the Reverse Path
   Forwarding (RPF) procedure to select an upstream interface and router
   in order to build forwarding state.  When there are equal-cost
   multipaths (ECMPs), existing implementations often use hash
   algorithms to select a path.  Such algorithms do not allow the spread
   of traffic among the ECMPs according to administrative metrics.  This
   usually leads to inefficient or ineffective use of network resources.
   This document introduces the ECMP Redirect, a mechanism to improve
   the RPF procedure over ECMPs.  It allows ECMP selection to be based
   on administratively selected metrics, such as data transmission
   delays, path preferences, and routing metrics.

Status of This Memo

   This is an Internet Standards Track document.

   This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force
   (IETF).  It represents the consensus of the IETF community.  It has
   received public review and has been approved for publication by the
   Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).  Further information on
   Internet Standards is available in Section 2 of RFC 5741.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
   http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc6754.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2012 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   2.  Terminology  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   3.  Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
   4.  Applicability  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
   5.  Protocol Specification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
     5.1.  Sending ECMP Redirect  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
     5.2.  Receiving ECMP Redirect  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
     5.3.  Transient State  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
     5.4.  Interoperability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
     5.5.  Packet Format  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
       5.5.1.  PIM ECMP Redirect Hello Option . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
       5.5.2.  PIM ECMP Redirect Format . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
   6.  IANA Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
   7.  Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
   8.  Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
   9.  References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
     9.1.  Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
     9.2.  Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

1.  Introduction

   A PIM router uses the RPF procedure to select an upstream interface
   and a PIM neighbor on that interface to build forwarding state.  When
   there are equal-cost multipaths (ECMPs) upstream, existing
   implementations often use hash algorithms to select a path.  Such
   algorithms do not allow the spread of traffic among the ECMP
   according to administrative metrics.  This usually leads to
   inefficient or ineffective use of network resources.  This document
   introduces the ECMP Redirect, a mechanism to improve the RPF
   procedure over ECMP.  It allows ECMP selection to be based on
   administratively selected metrics, such as data transmission delays,
   path preferences, and routing metrics, or a combination of metrics.

   ECMPs are frequently used in networks to provide redundancy and to
   increase available bandwidth.  A PIM router selects a path in the
   ECMP based on its own implementation-specific choice.  The selection
   is a local decision.  One way is to choose the PIM neighbor with the
   highest IP address; another is to pick the PIM neighbor with the best
   hash value over the destination and source addresses.

   While implementations supporting ECMP have been deployed widely, the
   existing RPF selection methods have weaknesses.  The lack of
   administratively effective ways to allocate traffic over alternative
   paths is a major issue.  For example, there is no straightforward way
   to tell two downstream routers to select either the same or different
   RPF neighbor routers for the same traffic flows.

   With the ECMP Redirect mechanism introduced here, the upstream
   routers use a PIM ECMP Redirect message to instruct the downstream
   routers on how to tiebreak among the upstream neighbors.  The PIM
   ECMP Redirect message conveys the tiebreak information based on
   metrics selected administratively.

2.  Terminology

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this
   document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

   This document uses terms defined in [RFC4601] to describe actions
   taken by PIM routers.

   The following terms have special significance for ECMP Redirect:

   o  Equal-Cost Multipath (ECMP).  In this document, the term "ECMP"
      refers to parallel, single-hop, equal-cost links between adjacent
      nodes.

   o  ECMP Bundle.  An ECMP bundle is a set of PIM-enabled interfaces on
      a router, where all interfaces belonging to the same bundle share
      the same routing metric.  The next hops for the ECMP are all one
      hop away.

      There can be one or more ECMP bundles on any router, while one
      individual interface can only belong to a single bundle.  ECMP
      bundles are created on a router via configuration.

   o  RPF.  RPF stands for Reverse Path Forwarding.

   o  Upstream.  Towards the root of the multicast forwarding tree.  An
      upstream router refers to a router that is forwarding, or
      potentially capable of forwarding, data packets onto interfaces in
      an ECMP bundle.

      When there are multiple routers forwarding packets onto interfaces
      in the ECMP bundle, all these routers are called upstream routers.

   o  Downstream.  Away from the root of the multicast forwarding tree.
      A downstream router is a router that uses an interface in the ECMP
      bundle as an RPF interface for a multicast forwarding entry.

3.  Overview

   The existing PIM Assert mechanism allows the upstream router to
   detect the existence of multiple forwarders for the same multicast
   flow onto the same downstream interface.  The upstream router sends a
   PIM Assert message containing a routing metric for the downstream
   routers to use for tiebreaking among the multiple upstream forwarders
   on the same RPF interface.

   With ECMP interfaces between the downstream and upstream routers, the
   PIM ECMP Redirect mechanism works in a similar way, but extends the
   ability to resolve the selection of forwarders among different
   interfaces in the ECMP.

   When a PIM router downstream of the ECMP interfaces creates a new
   (*,G) or (S,G) entry, it will populate the RPF interface and RPF
   neighbor information according to the rules specified by [RFC4601].
   This router will send its initial PIM Joins to that RPF neighbor.

   When the RPF neighbor router receives the Join message and finds that
   the receiving interface is one of the ECMP interfaces, it will check
   if the same flow is already being forwarded out of another ECMP
   interface.  If so, this RPF neighbor router will send a PIM ECMP
   Redirect message onto the interface the Join was received on.  The
   PIM ECMP Redirect message contains the address of the desired RPF

   neighbor, an Interface ID [RFC6395], and the other parameters used as
   tiebreakers.  In essence, a PIM ECMP Redirect message is sent by an
   upstream router to notify downstream routers to redirect PIM Joins to
   the new RPF neighbor via a different interface.  When the downstream
   routers receive this message, they SHOULD trigger PIM Joins toward
   the new RPF neighbor specified in the packet.

   This PIM ECMP Redirect message has similar functions as the existing
   PIM Assert message:

   1.  It is sent by an upstream router.

   2.  It is used to influence the RPF selection by downstream routers.

   3.  A tiebreaker metric is used.

   However, the existing Assert message is used to select an upstream
   router within the same multi-access network (such as a LAN), while
   the Redirect message is used to select both a network and an upstream
   router.

   One advantage of this design is that the control messages are only
   sent when there is a need to "rebalance" the traffic.  This reduces
   the amount of control traffic.

4.  Applicability

   The use of ECMP Redirect applies to shared trees or source trees
   built with procedures described in [RFC4601].  The use of ECMP
   Redirect in PIM Dense Mode [RFC3973] or in Bidirectional PIM
   [RFC5015] is not considered in this document.

   The enhancement described in this document can be applicable to a
   number of scenarios.  For example, it allows a network operator to
   use ECMPs and have the ability to perform load splitting based on
   bandwidth.  To do this, the downstream routers perform RPF selection
   with bandwidth, instead of IP addresses, as a tiebreaker.  The ECMP
   Redirect mechanism assures that all downstream routers select the
   desired network link and upstream router whenever possible.  Another
   example is for a network operator to impose a transmission delay
   limit on certain links.  The ECMP Redirect mechanism provides a means
   for an upstream router to instruct a downstream router to choose a
   different RPF path.

   This specification does not dictate the scope of applications of this
   mechanism.

5.  Protocol Specification

5.1.  Sending ECMP Redirect

   ECMP Redirects are sent by an upstream router in a rate-limited
   fashion, under either of the following conditions:

   o  It detects a PIM Join on a non-desired outgoing interface.

   o  It detects multicast traffic on a non-desired outgoing interface.

   In both cases, an ECMP Redirect is sent to the non-desired interface.
   An outgoing interface is considered "non-desired" when:

   o  The upstream router is already forwarding the same flow out of
      another interface belonging to the same ECMP bundle.

   o  The upstream router is not yet forwarding the flow out any
      interfaces of the ECMP bundle, but there is another interface with
      more desired attributes.

   An upstream router MAY choose not to send ECMP Redirects if it
   becomes aware that some of the downstream routers are unreachable via
   some links in ECMP bundle.

   An upstream router uses the Neighbor Address or the Interface ID
   field in the ECMP Redirect message to indicate the interface it wants
   traffic to be directed to.  This Neighbor Address MUST be associated
   with an interface in the same ECMP bundle as the ECMP Redirect
   message's outgoing interface.  If the Interface ID field is ignored,
   this Neighbor Address field uniquely identifies a LAN and an upstream
   router to which a downstream router SHOULD redirect its Join
   messages, and an ECMP Redirect message MUST be discarded if the
   Neighbor Address field in the message does not match the cached
   neighbor address.

   The Interface ID field is used in IPv4 when one or more RPF neighbors
   in the ECMP bundle are unnumbered, or in IPv6 where link-local
   addresses are in use.  For other IPv4 usage, this field is zeroed
   when sent, and ignored when received.  If the Router ID part of the
   Interface ID is zero, the field MUST be ignored.  See [RFC6395] for
   details of its assignment and usage in PIM Hellos.  If the Interface
   ID is not ignored, the receiving router of this message MUST use the
   Interface ID, instead of Neighbor Address, to identify the new RPF
   neighbor.  Additionally, an ECMP Redirect message MUST be discarded
   if the Interface ID field in the message does not match the cached
   Interface ID.

5.2.  Receiving ECMP Redirect

   When a downstream router receives an ECMP Redirect, and detects that
   the desired RPF path from its upstream router's point of view is
   different from its current one, it should choose to join the newly
   suggested path and prune from the current path.  The exact order of
   such actions is implementation specific.

   If a downstream router receives multiple ECMP Redirects sent by
   different upstream routers, it SHOULD use the Preference, Metric, or
   other fields as specified below as the tiebreakers to choose the most
   preferred RPF interface and neighbor.  The tiebreak procedure is the
   same as that used in PIM Assert processing described by [RFC4601].

   If an upstream router receives an ECMP Redirect, it SHOULD NOT change
   its forwarding behavior even if the ECMP Redirect makes it a less
   preferred RPF neighbor on the receiving interface.

5.3.  Transient State

   During a transient network outage with a single link cut in an ECMP
   bundle, a downstream router may lose connection to its RPF neighbor
   and the normal ECMP Redirect operation may be interrupted
   temporarily.  In such an event, the following actions are
   RECOMMENDED.

   The downstream router SHOULD select a new RPF neighbor.  Among all
   ECMP upstream routers, the preferred selection is the one on the LAN
   that the previous RPF neighbor resided on.

   If there is no upstream router reachable on the LAN that the previous
   RPF neighbor resided on, the downstream router will select a new RPF
   neighbor on a different LAN.  Among all ECMP upstream routers, the
   one that served as RPF neighbor before the link failure is preferred.
   Such a router can be identified by the Router ID, which is part of
   the Interface ID in the PIM ECMP Redirect Hello option.

   During normal ECMP Redirect operations, when PIM Joins for the same
   (*,G) or (S,G) are received on a different LAN, an upstream router
   will send ECMP Redirect to prune the non-preferred LAN.  Such ECMP
   Redirects during partial network outage can be suppressed if the
   upstream router decides that the non-preferred PIM Join is from a
   router that is not reachable via the preferred LAN.  This check can
   be performed by retrieving the downstream router's Router ID, using
   the source address in the PIM Join, and searching neighbors on the
   preferred LAN for one with the same Router ID.

5.4.  Interoperability

   If a PIM router supports this specification, it MUST send the PIM
   ECMP Redirect Hello Option in its PIM Hello messages.

   A PIM router sends ECMP Redirects on an interface only when it
   detects that all neighbors on that interface have sent this Hello
   option.  If a PIM router detects that any of its neighbors on an ECMP
   bundle does not support this Hello option, it SHOULD NOT send ECMP
   Redirects to interfaces in that bundle; however, it SHOULD still
   process any ECMP Redirects received from interfaces in that same
   bundle.

   If a PIM router does not support this specification, it will ignore
   the PIM ECMP Redirect Hello Options and ECMP Redirects in the PIM
   packets that it receives.

5.5.  Packet Format

5.5.1.  PIM ECMP Redirect Hello Option

    0                   1                   2                   3
    0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
   +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
   |           Type = 32           |         Length = 0            |
   +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

                   Figure 1: ECMP Redirect Hello Option

   Type:   32

   Length:   0

5.5.2.  PIM ECMP Redirect Format

    0                   1                   2                   3
    0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
   +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
   |PIM Ver| Type  |   Reserved    |           Checksum            |
   +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
   |              Group Address (Encoded-Group format)             |
   +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
   |            Source Address (Encoded-Unicast format)            |
   +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
   |                       Neighbor Address                        |
   +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
   |                                                               |
   +-+-+-+-+-+- ............ Interface ID ........... -+-+-+-+-+-+-+
   |                                                               |
   +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
   |   Preference  |                                               |
   +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+--  ... Metric ...  -+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
   |                                                               |
   +- .. Metric .. +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
   |               |
   +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

                  Figure 2: ECMP Redirect Message Format

   PIM Ver:  See Section 4.9 in [RFC4601].

   Type:  11

   Reserved:  See Section 4.9 in [RFC4601].

   Checksum:  See Section 4.9 in [RFC4601].

   Group Address (64 or 160 bits):  Encoded-Group address as specified
      in Section 4.9.1 of [RFC4601].

   Source Address (48 or 144 bits):  Encoded-Unicast address as
      specified in Section 4.9.1 of [RFC4601].

   Neighbor Address (32 or 128 bits):  Address of desired upstream
      neighbor where the downstream receiver redirects PIM Joins.

   Interface ID (64 bits):  See [RFC6395] for details.

   Preference (8 bits):  The first tiebreaker when ECMP Redirects from
      multiple upstream routers are compared against each other.  A
      numerically smaller value is preferred.  A reserved value (15) is
      used to indicate the metric value following the Preference field
      is a Network Time Protocol (NTP) timestamp, encoded in the format
      specified in [RFC5905], taken at the moment the sending router
      started to forward out of this interface.

   Metric (64 bits):  The second tiebreaker if the Preference values are
      the same.  A numerically smaller value is preferred.  This Metric
      can contain path parameters defined by users.  When the Preference
      and Metric values are the same, the Neighbor Address or Interface
      ID field is used as the third tiebreaker, depending on which field
      is used to identify the RPF neighbor; the bigger value wins.

6.  IANA Considerations

   A PIM-Hello Option Type (32) has been assigned to the PIM ECMP
   Redirect Hello Option.

   In the PIM Message Types registry created by [RFC6166], a PIM Message
   Type (11) has been assigned to the ECMP Redirect message.

7.  Security Considerations

   Security of the ECMP Redirect is only guaranteed by the security of
   the PIM packet; the security considerations for PIM Assert packets as
   described in [RFC4601] apply here.  Spoofed ECMP Redirect packets may
   cause the downstream routers to send PIM Joins to an undesired
   upstream router and trigger more ECMP Redirect messages.  Security
   considerations for PIM packets described in [RFC4601] also apply to
   the new Hello option defined here.

8.  Acknowledgements

   The authors would like to thank Apoorva Karan for helping with the
   original idea, and Eric Rosen, Isidor Kouvelas, Toerless Eckert, Stig
   Venaas, Jeffrey Zhang, Bill Atwood, and Adrian Farrel for their
   review comments.

9.  References

9.1.  Normative References

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

   [RFC4601]  Fenner, B., Handley, M., Holbrook, H., and I. Kouvelas,
              "Protocol Independent Multicast - Sparse Mode (PIM-SM):
              Protocol Specification (Revised)", RFC 4601, August 2006.

9.2.  Informative References

   [RFC3973]  Adams, A., Nicholas, J., and W. Siadak, "Protocol
              Independent Multicast - Dense Mode (PIM-DM): Protocol
              Specification (Revised)", RFC 3973, January 2005.

   [RFC5015]  Handley, M., Kouvelas, I., Speakman, T., and L. Vicisano,
              "Bidirectional Protocol Independent Multicast (BIDIR-
              PIM)", RFC 5015, October 2007.

   [RFC5905]  Mills, D., Martin, J., Ed., Burbank, J., and W. Kasch,
              "Network Time Protocol Version 4: Protocol and Algorithms
              Specification", RFC 5905, June 2010.

   [RFC6166]  Venaas, S., "A Registry for PIM Message Types", RFC 6166,
              April 2011.

   [RFC6395]  Gulrajani, S. and S. Venaas, "An Interface Identifier (ID)
              Hello Option for PIM", RFC 6395, October 2011.

Authors' Addresses

   Yiqun Cai
   Microsoft
   1065 La Avenida
   Mountain View, CA  94043
   USA

   EMail: yiqunc@microsoft.com

   Liming Wei
   Cisco Systems, Inc.
   Tasman Drive
   San Jose, CA  95134
   USA

   EMail: lwei@cisco.com

   Heidi Ou
   Cisco Systems, Inc.
   Tasman Drive
   San Jose, CA  95134
   USA

   EMail: hou@cisco.com

   Vishal Arya
   DIRECTV Inc.
   2230 E Imperial Hwy
   El Segundo, CA  90245
   USA

   EMail: varya@directv.com

   Sunil Jethwani
   DIRECTV Inc.
   2230 E Imperial Hwy
   El Segundo, CA  90245
   USA

   EMail: sjethwani@directv.com

 

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